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Clin Exp Immunol. 1993 Jan;91(1):30-6.

Differences in cytokine secretion by intestinal mononuclear cells, peripheral blood monocytes and alveolar macrophages from HIV-infected patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Mononuclear cells of the lamina propria (LpMNC), isolated from endoscopically taken biopsies of the large bowel from AIDS patients, were analysed for their ability to secrete tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), IL-1 beta and IL-6. Stimulation of LpMNC from normal controls with pokeweed mitogen (PWM) led to a time- and dose-dependent enhancement of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta and IL-6 secretion. In contrast, PWM stimulation of LpMNC from AIDS patients resulted in only a small increase in TNF-alpha release. Constitutive secretion of IL-1 beta and IL-6 in these patients was already increased to the concentration range of stimulated cells from normal controls and could not be further increased, probably due to maximal in vivo stimulation. Secretion of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta and IL-6 by peripheral blood monocytes (PBM) and alveolar macrophages from AIDS patients was elevated with or without stimulation compared with normal controls. Obviously, the regulation of TNF-alpha secretion is dependent on the microenvironment. Since it is known that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) may induce the production of TNF-alpha, the secretion of this cytokine was examined. Release of IFN-gamma was constitutively and under stimulation lowered in LpMNC from AIDS patients compared with normal controls. Addition of IFN-gamma to LpMNC did not result in enhanced TNF-alpha secretion. Our data indicate a defective function of intestinal mononuclear cells in AIDS patients as shown by the diminished TNF-alpha secretion.

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